Simple tips for beginners to slip into the silence

It is the year 2020 or might I say, the year of “feeling things” instead of “doing things” and I am intrigued by the fact that the topic of meditation is still a bit “woo-woo” for many out there. Some people recognize its importance due to the various scientifically-proven health benefits of meditation and mindfulness while others practice it to temporarily escape the chaotic events of their life. As someone who is training to become a meditation teacher, I was thinking about the reasons why is it so hard for some people to meditate and the common assumptions which some people might have about the practice of meditation. In its essence, meditation is an effortless process and is supposed to be very natural and easy. It is our birthright and to meditate is to get in touch with the silence within ourselves in order to, sort of recharge our “batteries” and to enrich our daily life experiences. Today, I would like to share some simple ways for a beginner to prepare before you can transition into a state of meditation that I have learnt during my 12-year long friendship with this wonderful practice.

  1. Household chores

This is the easiest way to get into a state of meditation and I have personally suggested this to many of my friends/acquaintance who had trouble cultivating the practice of meditation. You may not realize it at first but when you are by yourself doing the dishes, folding your clothes or cleaning the furniture, the chances of slipping into the “now” moment is higher than if you were accompanied by music or other people at home. This is probably one of the reasons why some of us feel satisfied after we clean something. Without paying much attention to it, the chaos within settles down while our “batteries” are charged and at the end of it, most of us feel much calmer. For beginners who feel a lot of inner resistance to sit and meditate, performing these simple tasks can prepare you for a successful meditation session.

  1. Mindful walks

Everyone who knows me in person can agree that I am a huge fan of connecting with nature. In spirituality, we consider the environment we live in as a part of our physical body. Our environment is just as alive as we are and they highly influence us. It is not news to say that nature is bountiful and that we ARE nature. When we have trouble connecting to the field of silence and pure awareness through meditation, we can get help from nature. Taking a walk in the park with total focus on every sensory stimulus and every vibrant scenery instantly connects us to the state we would be in during meditation. Although this state of meditation, just like the one while performing household tasks, is accompanied by some background mental activity, taking quiet walks is a very good way to start meditating as a beginner.

  1. Weaken those inner arguments

We all have been there. We play out scenarios in our head and even if our lives are more or less stress-free, our mind never shuts up. Our mind loves the drama and that’s not at all surprising! If you truly want to cultivate the habit of meditating, you have to clap your hands and bow to the director so he would end the rehearsal that he keeps orchestrating inside your head. I am not saying, you have to control your mind. Let me tell you, it is going to be IMPOSSIBLE to meditate when your intention is to CONTROL your mind and your thoughts. So, what do I mean by ending the rehearsal? Over the past few years, journalling has been of immense value to me to find out the root causes of the arguments that play in my mind from time to time. I would ask questions like- ” Why do I so badly want to defend myself to that person?”, “Why do I feel so strongly about this or that?” and “Do I have faith in myself to be prepared for such a disaster when the time comes? Why am I so anxious about this right now?”. When you truly heal or address your concerns, those mental rehearsals end and you can be more at peace, ready to step into silence.

  1. Listen to drumming music

When you listen to rhythmic music without words, your root chakra is healed and that makes you firmly anchored to your body. Why is this important? When you feel ungrounded or might I say, unsafe, threatened or in a state of constant self criticism, you are energetically depleted which makes it impossible for you to WANT to calm your mind. Rhythmic music can command your mind to focus on the music. Automatically, your feet starts tapping to the music and you start nodding your head, which can put you at ease. Bonus points if you wish to stand up and really feel the beats with your entire body with your eyes closed. Your life force energy gets activated and it charges your entire body, relaxing your muscles and makes you feel more fluid or in control of your body, which is a wonderful way to feel before you sit down to meditate. After some movement, moments of stillness of a meditation session doesn’t feel so restrictive to your body and to your mind.

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Stagnancy to flow-state

I remember the last time I felt the headrush of having a billion things to do in my list. I remember every minute lost in finding my shoes and gulping a sugar-loaded store-bought cupcake for breakfast before I had to catch the train every morning. I remember the hunger and fear-induced symphony played loudly in my stomach while sitting in a conference room. I remember counting the number of hours left before I could go home, wear my most comfortable pyjamas and watch my favorite Netflix show while I relish my two day-old greasy pizza for dinner. I used to look forward to weekends and would grab every chance to get a break from working my ass off. I would utilize every chunk of time during my day being creative in some form or the other. I would bathe in the joy of indulging the creative side of my brain. With the increase in the number of corona virus cases, I was forced to quarantine and all of a sudden, I felt controlled by a huge wave of inertia to do..basically anything. It was not laziness, nah, nah. It was something more powerful than that. It was more like a resolve to not do anything, literally anything. It was excruciating considering the number of deadlines that were approaching and the pile of work getting accumulated with the passing day. I knew I had to do something, anything if not something of value but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. This was the most stagnant my energy has ever been and I did not know how to get out of it. I wished for someone to suggest me a magical way to get my life back together. I wished to find a way to feel like myself again. There I was, silently looking out my window, staring at the beautiful meadow in front of me and sinking in desperation to find a way that shakes the lethargy out of me. Today, I would like to share a few ways to transition from stagnancy to flow-state that have worked for me.

  1. Take a shower

Taking a shower not only cleanses you physically but also energetically. When we have spent a lot of time doing nothing, chances that our mind wandered to relive unnecessary painful moments by overthinking are high. When we relive or replay past memories in our mind, our awareness is literally transported to all aspects of those past moments. We may not realise it but it is highly energetically depleting and polluting to our body and mind. Taking a mindful shower with fragrant soaps, favourite music or just quietly enjoying the temperature of the water might help reset our thinking by bringing our awareness back to the present moment and hence, help us make a fresh start.

2. End the chaos within

This has been life-saving for me! Often times, we tend to not do anything as a result of being overwhelmed by the number of things we need to do or the number of issues that are playing on our screen of the mind without even realising it. If you don’t know what to do next, simply, take a notepad and make a list. It doesn’t have to be in any order or structured. Just write away! Once you have a visual representation of what is going on inside your head, you can start the process of elimination. Cross-off the issues that you can’t possibly find a solution, mark the issues or tasks that you can’t solve within the next three hours and circle those entries that you can do something about in the next three hours. Within the ones you have circled, pick the most time-sensitive task and finally, you have identified the immediate logical action to do for the moment.

3. Find an accountability partner

Open your phone contact list and find one person who would either in person or virtually be willing to support your efforts in getting work done that day. Transfer the authority of making decisions to take breaks to them or better yet, involve them in this process by explaining to them what your work is about and what would happen if you failed to do the task. This way, you can’t escape the process by dismissing their knowledge or lack thereof of the nature of your work. When we don’t know how to start, the best way is to take the power of starting away from you and give that to your trustworthy friend.

4. Shimmy to your favourite jam

This might sound counterproductive but stay with me here. Now that you have your accountability partner and your clean psyche ready to work, spend the first 5-10min on listening to fast-paced music that pumps you up and makes you yell to yourself, ” you got this!”. When we want to do something we absolutely hate but must finish the task anyway, the act of listening to your favourite beats can help you connect with that energetically-masculine quality of getting things done like a warrior with swords. The genre of music doesn’t matter as long as it can make your arms punch the air with smile on your face while sitting at your desk. Keep a timer to end your dance session and then, get to work with an uninterrupted focus.

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Being happy for others

We all talk about it. We all claim to be happy for others but do we really do it? Who cares, right? Do we really NEED to be happy for others? Have you ever wondered why is it that it is so hard to be happy for someone else, especially when we do not have what the other person has in his/her life? In my opinion, jealousy is a spectrum. Some of us are indifferent to others lives because let’s face it, our lives keep us busy and we like it that way, busy hustling with no time to spare for others problems. But I couldn’t help but think about those of us who are openly bitter about others being happy. People who belong to this category do not have much time to focus on others either. However, they somehow manage to express their discontentment while gossiping about their “good” friends or their supposedly close relatives and their seemingly perfect lives. In the eyes of these individuals, the happy people in their lives are just sitting in their beautiful mansions, collecting bags of gold coins and taking skydiving lessons using their private jets while all they might have received was a promotion or an elite gym membership. They LOOK at those face-tuned pictures of their friends with hundreds of hearts on it and they choose to SEE a damage-proof glowing and a healthy skin. They LOOK at the group picture of smiling faces and they choose to SEE a group of people who never have misunderstandings, thriving in harmony. While most of us know how deceptive appearances are, I am more interested in understanding why is it so hard for us humans to naturally be happy for others. After all, compassion and open-heartedness are supposed to be innate human qualities right?

So, how does jealousy originate in each of us? What does jealousy indicate? The most obvious answer for these questions is sadness and frustration from dealing with one’s own issues. When you are sad, you can’t possibly be happy for another person, even if it is someone very close to you. When you are sad or frustrated about something in your life, have you ever observed the narrative your ego gives you at the time? It is most certainly ALWAYS exaggerated. What do I mean by this? Suppose you are frustrated because you can’t afford your dream car, your Ego narrates this situation to you as if you are so poor that you probably have to save way more than you need to in order to afford the car. The Ego follows this up by saying that you can NEVER afford a luxurious lifestyle and then it tells you, your friends will overtake you in this “RACE” to “WIN” life. This goes on and on until you are sitting in your couch, sulking and criticising yourself over every purchase you had made up until that point. Eventually, your Ego convinces you that you are one step away from being destitute and that you need to up your “game”. Why?- because you can’t afford your dream car at that moment in your life. Why does your Ego wants to do this to you? Because your Ego always wants to protect you and it doesn’t know the scale of danger so it always assume the highest level of danger waiting to appear down the road.

What does your Ego or your sadness has to do with another person’s happiness? Nothing! This is it! Then, why does it always feel like it is all connected? Because we humans as a species always want to be a part of something. It is our innate desire to be included and to seek company and be around people who are like us. We don’t want to be left out. When we were hunting for food as a primitive being, it is probably dangerous to go through something that your tribe doesn’t know about or cannot help with because that would mean you will probably be left alone to die in order to save the rest of the tribe. Misery loves company. Deep down, a truly bitter person would probably be thinking, “how is it that I am suffering and you are not? This is unacceptable!”. Because of this crowd-gathering habit of ours, the realization that we are alone at struggling with something is very painful and our Ego wants to make us feel safe. So, our Ego nudges us to find ways to feel safe and included. The instinctive solution would be to make others miserable or point out their problems to make them less cheerful and in your point of view, more “humane”. The extent to which people put in efforts to make others miserable varies a lot and it is directly proportional to how alone and unsupported they feel in their lives.

We are not born bitter. We ALL are loving and kind sentient beings and that is our true nature. Perhaps knowing how Ego, also known as our our false Self, blocks our ability to be happy for others can help us understand how pointless it is to feel jealous. The next time your friend or acquaintance talks about his/her blessings, open those strong, confident arms and give them a hug or a handshake. Smile and send them loving energy and wish them well because there is one thing that is COMMON in you and your friend and that is the fact that you both are human.

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Finding hope..

Accepting change is hard, especially during the existing uncertain times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Everybody is in pretty much a similar situation, with people losing jobs and people not able to find jobs. No doubt, this is a major challenge faced by humanity. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with this but there is a major shift in our collective consciousness that has been happening for several months now and it is said to continue for years. What does that mean for a common man? Simply put, it means that we are going to see more and more people who would proactively choose to be kinder to others. We are going to see more and more people who value character, integrity and authenticity. We are going to see more of builder-ups and less of tearer-downs. More and more people are willingly going to emanate love, loving energy and positive vibrations while the negative people will become a minority. It is like our humanity is going through a very powerful upgrade! This is no news in the spiritual community. While the process of upgrading is painful, my heart is filled with endless hope for our humanity. People often ask me how I am able to remain so cool without any major career leads as a student about to graduate soon during this time of unforeseeable uncertainty. I used to be a huge fan of planning, freaking out, planning and then freaking out some more. However, I am also a big believer of destiny. All I know right now is that my higher Self or what people call intuition, will guide me to make the right decisions and that, I would be guided to do what I am meant to pursue at a meaningful time point. Whatever issues I face along the way, I trust that I will be able to handle it. Don’t ask for proof because it is faith without reason that helps me find hope! Faith is always without reason. Belief is powerful because it can energise thoughts and manifest them into reality. Even though the situation is bleak for many of us right now, I strongly believe! I believe that we will get through this and we, as our higher Selves, always have our best interest to guide us through this. You and I are slowly but surely transforming into someone much better, leading a better life in a better humanity, as new citizens of the New Earth. Some of the best opportunities are waiting for each of us, something much better than what we were to receive and something more suited to each of us for the time period. If you still find it hard to hold onto hope, I am here to give you hope. Trust me and join hands with me in believing that we all will get through this because we all are in this together and the future is going to be brighter than we had ever imagined. <3

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Why do we love being in misery so much?

Why do we love being in misery so much?❤️ Before my spiritual awakening, I used to think that my sole purpose of life is to be happy but I had not done anything to achieve that goal. We all say that we don’t want to be sad but subconsciously, many of us love being the object of pity and possessing a victim identity. I used to think that having friends, travelling to exotic locations and earning the educational degree of my choice would make me happy. I am sure many people would be able to relate to the wishful thinking that I had and that chase that never seemed to end. But in spite of reaching those destinations, getting those double taps on Instagram, having a “friend circle” and loved ones, I still felt unfulfilled and sad. Come to think of it, I have observed this in many people I have met. I wanted to understand this aspect further. So, I happened to do some journalling and turns out, I used to give excuses to stay unhappy because I thought my traumas made me who I am. Without that, I am not worthy of attention. As a positive person, I can say now that being one is like being a magnet. My pleasant energy and willingness to listen tend to attract many people towards me. But eventually, people find it boring because I can put a positive spin on anything and that’s not entertaining, that’s a buzzkill to many people. So, people naturally don’t want to be a buzzkill themselves. And, how did I transform from someone who needs pain to feel validated into someone who doesn’t need it? I simply realized that I had to change my intention. The sole purpose of my life is still to exist happily and peacefully, but this time, it is just for me. I want to be happy, for myself and not for the society. I can be a person, radiating positivity and still be interesting and this realisation changed my life for the better. I don’t consider my past valuable anymore, at least not to the extent that it becomes worthy of my attachment.
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Beneath the beauty..

How would the world be if we all saw each other just as souls? An amorphous energy field constantly vibrating and constantly being created from cosmic forces. A body with no body but a hazy shining aura of infiniteness. A being with no purpose but to exist, thrive, create and experience virtual reality with so much love radiating from our core. How would it be? How would it be if people saw me with that image and not my external appearance? Imagine I said hello to you and all you could see was this insanely powerful and complicated electromagnetic field constantly exchanging information with the cosmos and energizing thoughts? No pretty eyes but my third eye. No cute smile except the kind and welcoming light. No dark hair except my crown pulsing in alignment with my energy flow. No words except my boundless spirit of one love for all genders, appearances and age. How would it be? Boring right? Yeah, I can understand you and this is exactly my point. I am a woman but I don’t identify with it anymore. The only identity I own is that I am a soul, just as divine as everyone of you. It is oxymoronic because identity dissolves when one realises that he/she is love and the higher power. However, for the sake of functioning and understanding, I am choosing to use it as an identity. So, what am I trying to say? I am trying to say that beauty is not permanent. It is an illusion. External appearance is an illusion. It’s an oversimplification of your spirit. When I understood this, I no longer see others as a guy or a girl. I see them as a person, a divine being and a fellow spirit, experiencing this wonderful journey of life. What was interesting to me is that the moment I started doing this, I  felt so free and uninhibited. No drama, no politics, no games and only neutrality. Neutrality might be boring but it has definitely made my life a lot easier.❤️

Is optimism a privilege?

Is optimism a privilege? There is this popular notion that being positive, motivated and indulging in self care are a privilege and only people who are considered privileged can afford to spend time for it. What does it mean to be privileged? I think that it means having a roof over your head, some money to comfortably support yourself and at least a hobby to keep you happy. But does privilege equal happiness? As a privileged person, I can assure you that it is not, at least for me. I would like to think that problems are always relative, always. That doesn’t undermine the suffering someone goes through. No one, literally no one alive now is exempted from the  life lessons they are destined to learn. I would like to think that every soul has a customized cosmic plan, designed by themselves at a higher state of awareness (I can say that as a God-like state, to make it easier to understand). It is important to be grateful for everything that one has but that doesn’t mean that there is no justification for someone’s suffering inspite of them having food to eat and some money in the bank. What strikes my mind now is that regardless of how privileged you are, you need motivation, self care and any tools under the sky to live your best life possible. In fact, the more misery you are going through, the more you need those tools to keep up from crumbling under the pressure of life. When life offers you help, it is a sign of synchronicity. It means that the universe is listening to you and your higher self is trying to help you. If you are just a bit gracious enough to accept help, it would make your life just a little bit more tolerable and for many of us, that’s a lot! ❤️

What makes a good human?

❤️What makes a good human? Is that even a thing? And who are we to judge a person to be good or bad?..I have always wondered! Our society loves binary categories and only recently, things are changing. I have seen it in my own life. In my past, I have heard from others all sorts of binary labels for me..I can either wear a bindi(dot on my forehead) and chant mantras or I can wear a cute summer dress and drink cocktails..I can either be shy and quiet or be flamboyant and extroverted…I can either be popular or be a geek.. I can either be spontaneously creative or I can be a fraud.. People are so quick to put other people into boxes(even in their minds) and I have always wondered why. Come to think of it, I realized that I used to do the same thing too, just inside my head. Human beings are complicated, like, really complicated. We are constantly trying to figure out people, just the degree of effort we put in varies. I get it, it is what makes life interesting! Fun fact, I am a huge potterhead so I agree with Sirius when he implied that there are qualities in everyone they consider good and bad. Personally, I choose to see the brighter colours in others, the genuine smile, the strong warrior, the cute crying rabbit and the wise and patient turtle in others. What I mean by that is, being an empath is great if one chooses to use it and to use their intuitive abilities to see the beauty in others and appreciate them and to feel the pain in others and offer love and comfort to them. But in my opinion, you don’t have to be an empath for empathizing with others and choosing to see the beauty in people. ❤️

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A warm heart knows no pain..

” But I do nothing upon myself, and yet I am my own executioner. ” – John Donne

Some people say that pain is good and it makes you stronger. They say pain makes you rise to the challenge and build tolerance. It deepens your character, tests your willpower and pushes you so hard that you create wonderful things with your life. While all of this is probably true for the pain that finds its way towards us from the outside, it is not true for the pain that resides in our minds. We all SAY that we want the best for us. We defend ourselves in front of others. We claim to do things to protect us and push us towards our idea of success. However, we fail to realize the powerful role of the constant presence of a critic, watching every move you make, every step you take and every pound you put on or off. The critic has immense attention to detail and is sometimes, nasty, inhumane and vile. The critic cannot be won over with arguments, justifications and compromises. When you sleep, the critic doesn’t sleep. That critic lives within you, relentlessly working to create and sustain emotional pain until it becomes a background noise in your mind that you teach yourself to put up with.

Self-criticism heavily influences the way we look at ourselves and the world. I believe some of the common behavioral quirks that might affect people around us such as unwarranted anger, jealousy, codependency, egotism and low self esteem often originate from a place of harsh judgement towards ourselves. We all have conditioned ourselves over the years on how to treat ourselves, how to view our actions, how to scrutinize them and how to punish ourselves. The kind of fears we make ourselves experience and hold on to in the form of insecurities end up being what we project onto others.  People start to feel unappreciated, hurt and negative thereby forcing them to distance themselves from us. We often expect perfectionism from ourselves and while we claim to take it easy sometimes, whether we actually let go is a question. Over the years, we create a toxic environment within and around us. We slowly lose the ability to feel grateful, we fail to see the beauty in other people and for some of us, we might even constantly attract negative situations and people. It is a downward spiral that has the power to leave us in a state of depression, dissatisfaction and despair.

Why do we have to brew so much negativity within us? Often times we don’t realize that we all are supposed to be our own biggest supporters and caregivers. We all are supposed to be rooting for ourselves to be a wholesome person who shines from within while spreading love, joy and care towards all beings. Like charity, kindness starts at home. Healing from self-inflicted pain is aided by first removing the shame and guilt that we associate with caring for our well-being. It is not selfish to be self compassionate first so that we can be better humans and serve the rest of humanity to the fullest of our abilities. Although it might be surprising to hear, it is in human nature to love, care and provide support to those in need. To be a giver of kindness, you must first show kindness to yourself. Be your own advocate. Love your quirks, give yourself hi-fives and catch yourself when you stumble. Be patient with yourself  like you would be with a friend. When you give attention to yourself and acknowledge the external and internal struggles you have been through, you begin to heal. You begin to embrace the beauty and humanness of your thoughts and actions. You begin to notice and appreciate the efforts you have made in order to cope with the challenges of every stage of life. You begin to build inner strength in a healthy way and give yourself a hug when needed. Gradually, the emptiness in you disappears and you feel complete, all by yourself. The world would become beautiful and no matter what obstacles come your way, you will have faith that you can hold your head high without blaming others or situations and see the other end of it. You will also become a happier person and people would begin to find you welcoming, comforting and refreshing to be around.

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Hence, always prioritize showing compassion and understanding towards yourself so that you never let the sneaky little critic creep into your mind.

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Fail! Especially as a kid..

Failure terrifies us all! The existence of a discouraging voice inside each and every one of us is what makes failure so terrifying. “If you fail, the society will ridicule you. Your partner will think less of you. Your parents and “well-wishers” would feel insulted.” For some, the voice sounds like that of a Giant, taunting them in their sleep. For others, it  resembles the cry of a poor, whimpering little rabbit, pulling their spirits down whenever they try to fight back. The question I have always had in my mind is why is it that we are so intimidated by the thought of not being successful? How do we perceive failure?

Our attitude towards failure takes shape very early on in our lives. Let me give you a very simple example. Growing up, I never passed exams at school till I turned 12. I never had enough attendance to get through my grade school finals. I had received all sorts of punishments, ranging from running repeatedly around the football ground to getting hit on my knuckles with a wooden ruler. Oh, I wasn’t mischievous. I was just not smart. My teachers openly declared that I was fit for nothing. My parents couldn’t get why I was like that, nor could they afford to spend time for it. My relatives were having their best time, constantly passing sarcastic remarks. As much as I pretended not to be affected by everything going on around me, there was this voice inside of me that kept convincing me that I was a failure and that I was not capable of getting ahead in life. Later in life, I  did attempt to push myself forward, but every time I failed at it, that goddamn voice hideously crept in. I had lost the little motivation I had and my self-esteem had plummeted.

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I thought to myself about how different my life would have been without having to listen to that voice so early on in my life. Everyone has to face their battles in life. There is no way to escape. However, it would have been a lot easier without having to be threatened by the thought of turning into a “Loser”. Is there just one yardstick for success? I believe success is subjective and kids must not be penalised for not being the smartest kid in class or not being the best in sports. Children should be taught right from grade school,  especially in conservative communities of the world, that failure is a part of life and is nothing to be ashamed of. Failure should not be associated with something negative. Our survival depends on adaptation and no amount of failures is going to be enough to pave the path for being the best version of ourselves in life. In fact, let there be more “failures”. Bring it on! People must lend a helping hand to those young hearts which are struggling to deal with failure. Young souls need a source of positive reinforcement and not that of Self-blame.

We live in a world that respects perfectionists. In my opinion, perfectionism is overrated. Beg to differ! Be that person who is compassionate towards yourself and others around you by making room for imperfections. Nature is not perfect and not high-maintenance. Roll with it! If you learn to not let minor failures weigh you down as a kid, gradually, you will begin possessing a stronger mindset for enduring real problems in life. You will have the willpower and optimism to get back up.  You will develop greater confidence early on in your life to reflect on your mistakes and set things straight. You will begin to seek fulfilment through more meaningful experiences in life and discount the less significant downfalls of your life.

Keep failing.. Keep learning..Never stop growing!

Happy growing up 🙂

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